"Strathfieldsaye"  - Glasgow to Port Chalmers 1858

NZ Bound   Index   Search   Hints    Lists   Ports


New Zealand Bound

Otago Witness Saturday May 8, 1858 page 6
Reference online:  'Papers Past' - a NZ National Library website. 

Shipping News 

May 8 1858 page 6

Arrived April 29, Strathfieldsaye, 600 tons, Capt. Brown, from Glasgow, 22 January 1858.  Passengers listed. The "Strathfieldsaye" has on board 263 passengers for this port, five of whom are cabin passengers, and include Mr and Mrs Reynolds, and Mr Johnston, the minister intended for Port Chalmers. [listed below 273 passengers, why the difference in count? Why did the captain short the passengers on provisions???]

Passengers Cabin: 
Reynolds	 Mr. W.H. and Mrs and child
Johnston	 Rev. W. 
Rowe		 Mr John

Agnew	 	Thos.
Anderson 	John
Aitken 	 	Christina	 			Edinburgh
Aitken 	 	George		 			Livingstone
Allan 	 	Robert		 			Whitburn
Begg  	 	Henry F.
Black 	 	William		 			Whitburn
Bruce	 	Archibald and wife			Edinburgh
Bruce	 	Helen					Hawick
Brown	 	Daniel, wife and 6 children		Kilbarchan
Brown	 	John and wife				Milngavie
Brown	 	Marion					Leadburn
Brown	 	Margaret and Mary
Buchanan 	William
Cameron	 	Jane
Campbell 	Ann
Carson	 	William					Helensburgh
Craig	 	Andrew, wife (?Eleanor), 2 sons and 5 daughters
Douglas	 	Archibald, wife (?Amelia) 3 sons and 7 daughters (?Jessie)
Dunn	 	John, Elizabeth and George 		Auchterarder
Ferguson 	John					Dunfermline
Fife	 	Catherine				Devon Works
Forrest	 	Jessie 					Morningside
Fraser	 	Wm and wife 				Whitburn
Fraser	 	Wm  (age 26)
Fraser		Mrs F. (age 33)
Gardener	Robert, Barbara and Catherine
Garry	 	Alex. wife and son and daughter 	Maryhill
Gerard	 	Alex. and wife
Gibb	 	Peter					Dunfermline
Glasgow	 	Jean					Tillicoultry
Hempseed 	Robert, wife, son and three daughters 	Alva
Hall	 	Thomas, wife, 4 sons and Peter Cockburn (child)
Hannah	 	William wife, and child 		Glasgow
Ketchen	 	Jas.					Loxside
Hodge	 	John wife, 4 sons Peter Cockburn (child)(?David)
Hodge	 	William					Crossgates
Kay	 	Agnes					Stirling 
Laichry	 	Timothy 
Lambert  	Agnes					Alva
Little	 	John					Pebbles
Lind	 	Samuel wife, 2 sons, and 3 daughters 	Maryhill
Lawrence 	Thomas wife, 4 sons and 4 daughters 	Alva
Lockhart 	William, wife and 3 sons 		Alva	
McDonald 	Duncan					Kippen
McDonald 	James					Helensburgh
McGrouther 	James, wife 4 sons and 3 daughters 	Alva
McKay	 	Robert and Catherine
McMahon	 	Mary					Edinburgh
McNeil 		John wife 3 sons and 4 daughter		Alva
Marr	 	Janet and son
Martin	 	Alex.
Matheson 	Betty (age 30)
Meldrum	 	Robert wife 5 sons and 1 daughter
Milne	 	Peter and wife		 		Inverury
Milne	 	Robert wife and son	 		Bo'ness
Morgan	 	John wife and 2 daughters 		Selkirk
Morris	 	John wife son and 2 daughters 		Stirling
Morrison 	James, wife 3 sons and 6 daughters 	Alva
Muir	 	Michael			 		Crossgates
Paisley	 	Isabella 
Paisley	 	Robert, wife and son
Petrie	 	James 					Glasgow
Park	 	James and Mary				Glasgow
Pringle  	John
Quill 	 	Thos.
Ramage	 	Jane
Rennie	 	Mary
Robertson 	David, wife 3 sons and 2 daughters
Robertson 	James
Rodger   	William and John 			Selkirk
Ross	 	Alex.
Scott	 	James					Leadburn
Sharp 		Alex.   wife, 2 sons and 3 daughters
Sharp		John					Airdrie
Sharp		John				
Shein		John
Shein	 	John
Sime		James   wife, (?Grace) 3 sons and 4 daughters 	Edinburgh (?Sim)
Smith		Thomas  wife, and 3 sons
Snowdon		Margaret				Devon Works
Steel 		Ann
Steel 		Alex.
Stenhouse	James and wife 				Haddington
Stevens		John 					Caverstone
Stewart		Jane S. 				Glasglow
Stewart		Isabella 				Dunfermline
Storie		Alexr.					Burnmouth
Storie		Jane					Glasgow
Taylor		William	wife, and daughter 		Aberdeen
Thomson		John					Airdrie
Thomson		Robert					Whitburn
Thornton	Jane					Whitburn
Thornton	Thomas
Thow		Robert			 		Hillside
Waldie		Janet 2 sons and 1 daughter 		Edinburgh
Walker		Isabella		 		Selkirk
Walker		James			 		Maryhill
Walker		James
Wardlaw		Thomas			 		Dunferemline
Whitlock	Bell			 		Auchterarder
Wilson		Isabella
Wilson		James 2 sons and 2 daughters
Young		James wife, and 2 sons (David Miller paid  �16 passage money June 9 1865 to the Provincial Government of Otago)

The above list includes 16 ploughman, 50 labourers, 4 shepherds, 3 carpenters, 1 blacksmith 1 butcher and 51 domestic servants.

Passenger Ticket

A contract steerage passenger ticket by the packet ship "Strathfieldsaye," with not less than 10 cubic feet for luggage for each Statute Adult for 48 for three ages. The ticket was dated 1st January 1858 by William Greg, agent, in Glasgow, for James Galbraith, for the Patrick Henderson & Co., to Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. The original ticket was is held at Settlers Museum in Dunedin.
William Fraser, age 26
Mrs Fraser age 33
Betty Mathieson, age 30.

They were travelling together so Betty is probably a sister to Mrs Fraser.

MELDRUM - information courtesy of Ron Meldrum, posted 5th March 2010
Robert Meldrum b1817 Dunfirmline, Fife, Scotland m Mary Hall b1818 Clackmannon, Scotland. in Alloa, Clackmannon 1838
Robert was a woollen weaver and was in Tillicoultry, Clackmannon, Scotland in 1841 & 1851 but moved around following work available.
Emigrated to Dunedin, N.Z. aboard Ship "Strathfieldsaye" 1858
The family were Presbyterians and the family was visited by the Rev. Thomas Burns in Dunedin and are listed in his visitation book.
The family ages on arrival were:-
Robt.40, Mary 39
Ann Muir 19
John 17
Francis 15
Robert 7
James Shepherd 4
George 2
A further son Roger b1859 in New Zealand.
The family lived for a while in Dunedin before moving to Invercargill in 1859 aboard the steamer "Queen" and due to lack of conveniences were helped ashore by the natives.
Robert obtained a job as sub-manager at Victoria Company's Station [a large run] at Switzers near today's Waikaia. When the company was sold in 1862 the Meldrum's returned to Invercargill and Robert took up carrying from there to Switzers during the gold digging days. Robert continued this work until his death in 1870 and is buried in the family plot in Invercargill. Mary stayed on in Invercargill for some years before moving to Waihoaka to live with her son Robert and then to Riverton where she died in 1912.
Ann Muir died 1910 buried Riverton
Francis died 1895 buried Otautau
John died 1879 buried Dunedin
Robert died 1926 buried Invercargill
James Shepherd death unknown presume in Australia
George died 1887 buried Wanganui
Roger died 1884 buried Invercargill.

Saturday June 26th 1858 Otago Witness

Cleared Out. June 16, Strathfieldsaye, 600 tons, McNeur, for Melbourne, with 2757 bags oats, 59� bales wool. Passengers: Cabin - J. Macandrew and J. Barr. Steerage - Messrs. McKay and Dodds.

Saturday July 3rd 1858 Otago Witness

The induction of the Rev. Wm Johnstone as Minister of Port Chalmers and North took place on Wednesday....

May 8 1858 page 6.  Otago Witness

Mr Robert Sinclair Gardner, who has been teaching with acceptance for a number of years in the school of Mr Hunter, Albany Street, Edinburgh. Mr Gardner takes with him a small quantity of books and slates that he may prosecute his calling during the voyage which he is to hand over on reaching Dunedin. 

Dunedin, Saturday May 22 1858  Otago Witness pg5

Friday May 14th. The whole of the crew of the "Strathfieldsaye " excepting the 1st and 2nd mates, appeared before the sitting Magistrate, John Gillies, Esq., to make the following complaints against the master of the ship, viz:-
1. that from the masters drunkenness during the voyage out, and his threatening to shoot them, they were in danger of their lives.
2. The accommodation in the Forecastle, provided for the crew, was insufficient, and in consequence many of the many had to lie on their chests.
3. Since the ship's arrival in port, the master had fired a musket loaded with ball cartridge along the deck while the crew were there.
4. That they heard that the master had resigned in favour of the first mate, and, if the report was true, they objected to sail with him, because he was guilty of drunkenness.
The Resident Magistrate expressed his wish to serve them, and should see that proper accommodation in the forecastle should be provided for them; that he was not aware of the chief mate being appointed master, and when that took place it would be the time to complain.
The men expressed themselves dissatisfied with what the Magistrate has said, and one and all refused to go back to the ship, whereupon a charge of desertion was preferred by Mr W. H. Reynolds, as agent for the ship, against the recusants and the RM sentenced them to be imprisoned for 12 weeks with hard labour.

Tuesday May 18th. James Brown, master of the ship, Strathfieldsaye, now in the Port of Otago, was charged at the instance of Mr William Mills, immigration Officer at Otago, with committing a breach of section 35 of the "Passenger's Act, 1858,: which enacts, inter alia, "That the master of every Passenger Ship shall issue to each passenger, or the head man of the mess, an allowance of Pure Water, and sweet and wholesome provisions of good quality, according to a certain dietary scale." Penalty not exceeding 50.  Mr W.H. Reynolds, agent of the ship, appeared instead of the Defendant.  William Hempseed, being sworn, stated - I was a passenger on board the Strathfieldsaye . From 15th of January, when we entered the ship, to the 11th February there was always grumbling on board in consequence of a deficiency of provisions. on that day there was a meeting of the passengers, and I made known to Captain Brown that there was a deficiency in the quantity of the provisions given out to the passengers. The captain told me to attend to my own duty, and that he knew all these things already.  The passengers were not allowed to see the stores weighed out.  On 3rd March the only time on which I had had an opportunity, I weighed the flour, and there were 7 lbs instead of 8 lbs as there ought to have been. When entering the Tropics on the 20th of February, we had no oatmeal for eight days. The rice was not weighed out to the passengers but given to the cook, by the purser, to be put among the soup and boullie and the vegetables, so that no person could have rice by itself. I consider that we had not above 20lb of Rice instead of 103lb. We ought to have had  1 lb of split peas per week, but one was given to the passengers, but only to the cook, and in the same way as the rice. I consider that he did not  receive above 40 lbs for the use of the whole passengers, in place of 310 lbs as ought to have been done. On the 8th March Mr Reynolds and the captain appointed me to see the whole weighed out, and after that date we had no complain, except, as the cooking utensils were bad, that we had to lay aside the soup and boullie and get Pease instead. We (the Ship passengers) were entitled to 310lbs per week. None of us received, previous of the 6th March, more than one-half of the Lime juice allowed by our contract ticket, viz; 6 oz weekly.  Up to the 8th march there was a quart of water kept for boiling, for tea, but we only received one pint of that quantity.  On the 24th February it rained the whole day, and the sailors gathered up all the rain water that they could, and the passengers were told that unless the gathered water for themselves they would get none the next day; and accordingly, such as gathered none got none. What was gathered by the sailors was not from an awning but from what fell on the poop, and it was mixed with hen dirt and other filth. This water given to the cook for three days for cooking purposes, until the cook refused to take it,, it was so bad. On the 8th of May we got no dinner, and the cook said it was because he had got no water served out to him for cooking.

By Mr Reynolds - The oatmeal was struck off by order of the doctor. Some rice was given in lieu, but only once.

James Sime, a passenger by the Strathfieldsaye, being sworn, stated his family had not had, during the voyage, the quantity of provisions allowed by the contract ticket. My own family and one other girl formed a mess of 8 adults. We had not our sufficient quantity of oatmeal. On 29th February I was offered 15 lbs, but would not take lass than 17 lbs, and also offered 8 lbs of flour in place of 8 lbs and got much abuse for insisting on my full allowance, but I received my quantity. On the same day I should have got 25 ozs of tea, and all that was offered was 5 ozs, but after hearing some abuse and being struck by the passenger's steward, I got my quantity. Previous to the 6th or 8th, I had only half a bottle of lime juice; after that date I had a bottle and a half. I had plenty of biscuits in my mess; but the quantity I got I found to be under that allowed by contract.  When we first left Glasgow our tea was given to us in a cooked state; but on applying to Mr Reynolds, he got that rectified about a fortnight after we left Glasgow. We were sometimes short of water and several days it was foul. Mt family got weak, and especially my wife, as appeared to me, from a deficiency of food, an  it was that circumstance that induced me to get the small stores weighed. We were deficient in the quantity of water issued for tea, and did not get three quarts a day till after Mr Reynolds interceded on 8th March.

Alexander Garry, passenger, being sworn, stated  - for a long time we were badly off both for provisions and water. On 11th Feb. a number of passengers had congregated on the deck, and were talking over their grievances; the captain came up, and touching Mr Hempseed on the shoulder. "I believe there is a combination among you, and if you do not know your place, I'll find a place to put you." That day the captain erected a jail. ...The Court found the case fully proved and fined the defendant in the sum of 30, with costs.

July 16th 1859 pg3 Otago Witness

The following letter, dated from Dunedin, 20th August 1858, having appeared in a home paper.

"We left Glasgow in the Strathfieldsaye on the 15th January, and parted company with the pilot at Cumbrae Point on the 21st, and on the 28th April saw the mainland of New Zealand. With what feelings of emotion we caught the first glimpse of land of our adoption, after being so long tossed on the mighty deep, can only be described by those who experience it. Disappointing as it was to what we fancied, instead of green hills rising in gentle acclivity from the shore, you see a rocky, rugged-looking shore, with sterile bare-looking mountains covered with snow, and extending as far as the eye can reach. This is the general feature of the country so far as I have seen; but I am told there are fine plains in the interior.

Owing to the wind, we were obliged to lie at anchor about half-a-mile off the mouth of the harbour for eleven days.  On the 10th we landed at Port Chalmers, a small hamlet with about a dozen wooden houses, when the married people left for Dunedin in a small craft. The captain was caught taking liberties with one of the girls, and was so enraged at the exposure consequent upon the discovery, that he fired amongst us in the dark, the ball carried off the second mate finger, fortunately without injuring any one else, though it passed through a crowd of us, and lodged in the forecastle. We rushed upon him, and, having tied him with a rope, gave the mate charge of the ship. Next day he was sent a prisoner to Dunedin, when he was bailed for �700. He never made his appearance at court for trail, but went off with the Strathallan, by which he forfeited his bail. He was also tried for ill treatment and withdrawing our stores, for which he was fined �30, and the owners have to pay �300 for short provisions and damages sustained by the passengers. This will give you an idea of the treatment we received onboard. 

On the 11th all the young people on board sailed for Dunedin, a distance of 8 miles, in small boats, and landed at 1 p.m. To give you a description of the place nothing could be more disappointing - a few straggling wooden houses without order or regularity merely temporary as if built on a ..... serve for two or three days; the streets, if they can be so termed, ankle deep with mud, their stores paltry little shops, such as you will find in a country village at home.  The face of the country hereabouts bears a sterile, hilly aspect, except where covered with wood.  What a feeling of disappointment is exhibited by all new arrivals to what they were led to expect from the government agent's (Mr Adam's) description!  Had he been in reach of us he would have had to run hard for his life..... 
    The Government agent was well aware when he strongly recommended young men to take wives, that they would not be able to leave the place, and if females were scarce when he left they are at a discount now, not only that they can not obtain husbands, but places.  Some who came in our ship have not got the offer of a place yet, and most of those have had to go 50, 60 and 70 miles, no easy task in this country. Instead of �25 and �30, �15 and �20 are the highest wages, of which they have to do the work of two or three at home. Several left their places unable to stand it. The demand for men is equally dull, and the wages from �30 to �50; very few above �40. Characters and introductory letters are of no use.

Cabin passengers who could talk of nothing during the voyage but horse races and coursing dogs, had to shoulder the pick and off to the quarry and the road.  Here you will find men of various artistic skills at the barrow, the shovel or pick; and wonderfully well content until wages were reduced to 5s. per day, when the young men struck and spread throughout the country. The poor unfortunates who cannot leave cannot be well off, owning to the rate of provisions accommodation. The meanest hut they can get is 10s a week - board and lodgings of a common description 1 a week - with one wet day weekly. we have no regular mails her, only some stray vessel once in a month and sometimes in three months.


The Otago Settlers Museum, in Dunedin holds two diaries:
Diary by Daniel Brown,  M6
Diary by James H. E. Wilson 15.1.1858 - 29.4 1858, C178

 from the Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign Shipping

Master: Captain J. Brown
Rigging: Ship; sheathed in felt and yellow metal in 1855.
Tonnage: 600 tons.
Construction: 1852 in Sunderland on the river Wear.
Owners: W. Connal.
Port of registry: London
Port of survey: London

Wooden Barque weighing 656 tons gross.
 Sheathed in felt and yellow metal in 1852.
    This was a continuous of maintenance on wooden ships. The hull below the waterline had to be covered with metal either copper, zinc or a combination of the two which was called yellow metal, in order to stop the teredo worms burrowing into the wood and destroying the hull.
Dimensions: Length - 132 feet, Breadth - 30 feet, Depth - 20 feet.
Rig description: 1853 - Small three-masted sailing vessel, having fore and main masts square rigged and mizzen mast fore and aft rigged.
Rig description: changed in 1856 to a sea-going vessel with three or more square-rigged masts.
Owners: 1852 - Pope and Co.
              : 1855 - W. Connal
              : 1861 - Seligmann
Port of Registry: 1852 - 1860 - Plymouth.
                            : 1861 - Glasgow
Flag: United Kingdom
Call sign 1860: J.M.G.S.
Official number:  6072
Reported lost at sea 1864/65.
Sources: Lloyds Register 1853 and 1864/65.

This page may be freely linked to but not duplicated in any fashion, wholly or in part, except for private study.

The ship STRATHFIELDSAYE was built in Sunderland in 1852 and lost at sea in 1863.

Sailed from Gravesend Dec. 12 1852 -The Strathfieldsaye for Port Philip. Arrived at Melbourne previous to June 8 1853.
She sailed from Deal Nov. 11 1855.
The Strathfieldsaye of London, F. Renner, Master, burthen 657 tons, from Port of Madras to Sydney, NSW, 24th January 1854 with a crew of 21.
She was spoken on the voyage from Liverpool for Calcutta, Oct. 2 1856 in lat. 13 N., long 26 W.
She was spoken on Dec. 14 1858 14 N., and 8W.

There was an earlier Strathfieldsaye built in 1829, a barque of 476 tons, and used for transporting convicts to Tasmania, Australia, in 1831 and Sydney in 1839, sailed for Guam from  Sept. Sept. 9 1839. This ship was wrecked in 1842.